By Dick Downey
The Grade I Toyota Blue Grass is becoming a crowded space with more and more connections wanting to take a shot in the race.
Connections for three more colts informed the Keeneland racing office Tuesday that they are interested in making the starting gate. The three new hopefuls, who would rank 15, 16 and 18, respectively, on the preference list are Divine Ambition, Cerro (IRE) and Perfect Title. Possible starter Eton Blue is 17th on the preference list.
The Toyota Blue Grass is limited to 14 starters with preference given to graded stakes winners and then highest earnings. Entries will be taken Wednesday.
As of Tuesday, the top 14 in preference order deemed as probable starters by Keeneland racing officials are Uncaptured, Balance the Books, Dynamic Sky, West Hills Giant, Java’s War, Charming Kitten, Rydilluc, Fear the Kitten, Palace Malice, Undrafted, Channel Isle, My Name Is Michael, Tesseron and Footbridge.
Tuesday Morning Notes
The Mark Casse-trained duo of Uncaptured and Dynamic Sky had different agendas. Uncaptured walked the shedrow at Barn 1 while Dynamic Sky galloped early on the main track under exercise rider Jason Hoyte.
Chad Brown's Balance the Books jogged once around the main track with exercise rider Kriss Bon aboard.
Trainer John Terranova said West Hills Giant arrived at Keeneland from New York at 4:30 a.m. West Hills Giant is scheduled to be on the track on Wednesday.
Java’s War, who arrived at Keeneland from Florida Monday afternoon, walked the shedrow Tuesday morning for Ken McPeek. The War Pass colt is scheduled to gallop over the track on Wednesday.
Rydilluc visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/2 mile under exercise rider Ricardo Orantes. “Rydilluc never has had a problem at the gate, but I stand all my horses at least one time a week at the gate,” trainer Gary Contessa said. “He was perfect today, and I won’t take him again unless he draws the one hole tomorrow.”
With exercise rider Miguel Perez up, Undrafted galloped about 1 1/2 mile for trainer Wesley Ward.
Another candidate on the track was My Name Is Michael, who jogged once and stood in the starting gate for Rodolphe Brisset, assistant to trainer Bill Mott.
For trainer Josie Carroll, Tesseron jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Corrie Auchterlonie.
Footbridge, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Monday morning at Betfair Hollywood Park for trainer Eoin Harty, is scheduled to ship to Keeneland Wednesday with a midday arrival expected.
Eton Blue arrived at Keeneland on Monday and was tack-walked Tuesday, according to Eoghan Conlon, assistant to trainer Nick Zito.
At Churchill Downs, trainer Todd Pletcher’s two Toyota Blue Grass hopefuls, Charming Kitten and Palace Malice, galloped on the main track after arriving Monday from Palm Meadows in South Florida.